Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Annual Star Army/Star Navy Football Game - CVL Playtest

With NHC PI in the front I finally found some time to do some Competitive Violence League play testing. Here's an introduction to the upcoming 7 man 5150 Sci Fi game.
The CVL was a natural progression from the archaic “Earth Football” played long ago. Not the watered down liability driven game of the 21st Century but the original games of the 20th Century. The introduction of the game via the CVL served many purposes. It was good for Citizen morale (and kept them from “thinking too much”), was good for the economies of the 5150 universe and promoted acceptance of alien races, which was also good for the economies. But after many generations a part of the population craved more. They wanted more violence.
They wanted the XVL – Xtreme Violence League.

The XVL started on the frontier worlds and slowly worked their way back to the heart of Gaea Prime. But the emergence of the XVL was in direct conflict with the CVL and resulted in legal and in some cases, physical confrontations between the leagues resulting in significant blood-letting and eventual direct Gaea Prime intervention.

The initial result of this intervention was to make the XVL illegal, prosecute athletes and attendees as well. But…

The XVL owners, powerful Black Op Corporations and Criminal Cartels found ways to “legally” continue operations. Local Pay-Per-View was used (off world transmissions are illegal but local are not), the appropriate people were paid (some say this includes the CVL as well) and the league flourished. A bit too well as within ten years the XVL was absorbed by the CVL and all traces of it disappeared.

Except for the game it inspired and  how it is played today...
"Welcome everyone throughout the Gaea Prime Universe to our broadcast of the annual Star Army and Star Navy Competitive Violence game. We're coming to you live from War Memorial Stadium from Gaea Prime itself.  We have a sellout crowd of 150,000 lucky Soldiers and Sailors here to cheer on their team. 

We're minutes away from kickoff but first our Loyalty Pledge and a wonderful rendition of Gaea. Our Mother by the Children's Universal Choir.

The game consisted of 55 total plays with the Army running 25 and the Navy 30. I've attached some pictures and a brief commentary on how the game played out.

Army took the opening kickoff and moved down to the Navy 15 yard line where they tried a field goal but Navy blocked it with the ball being returned 40 yards to the Army 25. Navy couldn't move the ball and had to settle for a field goal and a 1 - 0 lead.

The playing field is 80 yards long. Field goals are worth 1 point, safeties 2 points, and touchdowns 3. First one to 10 or whomever has the the most points when time runs out (80 Ticks on the clock) is the winner.


Army took the resulting short kickoff back to their own 35. After a run to the outside the Army QB connected on a 30 yard pass completion to his receiver. Another outside run and another pass completion resulted in an Army touchdown and a 3 - 1 lead.

Navy went three and out (you have to move the ball 4 spaces on the field for a first down) and punted. The Army return man broke off a long return of 45 yards, back to the Navy 30. The first play was a run but loss of 5 yards (1 space). But the next play was a Navy disaster as Army's receiver caught a long pass in stride and scored.  With two Ticks on the clock Navy got the ball, and after recovering a fumble on  a sack, ran the clock out.

End of the Half Army 6 Navy 1.


Both teams were played as Non-Players with the game generating each offensive play based on the current score and time remaining as well as a programmed way to set the defense. This feature works very well and you can run a league solo. There are 8 teams of 8 Races included in the game. This allows me to play one team against all the others as well as playing two Non-Player controlled teams against each other.

There are two 40 Tick halves with each run, completed pass and returned kick or interception taking 2 clicks. First downs, touchdowns, incomplete passes and when running the "hurry up offense" takes 1 Tick.


Navy received the second half kickoff and started on its own 20. On the first play Army blitzed and the Navy QB was sacked for a loss of 10 and fumbled away the ball, Army recovering on the Navy 10! 

Being ahead by 4 or more, Army went to their running game. This meant instead of two receivers and one running back they came out with one receiver and two running backs. One would be the ball carrier and the other the blocking back to lead the way. But the Navy defense stiffened and after three straight running plays netted zero yards, Army kicked a Field Goal.

With 30 Ticks left Army led 7 - 1. Another touchdown by Army would end the game.

Each team has seven players on the field at one time. Injuries can cause a team to play short-handed. On offense you pick who will run the ball and into which of three zones. There's four passing zones and you have the option of playing 2 receivers and 1 running back or 2 running backs and 1 receiver.  

On defense you have 3 linemen and 4 backs to cover passes, blitz, double team, and more.The game is interactive with both players rolling dice at the same time and comparing their results on the same table.
Back to the game.

Navy went three and out again and punted but a hard tackle caused the Army player to lose the ball and Navy returned the fumble to the Army 10. Two plays later Navy scored its first touchdown on a short pass to the left corner of the end zone - 7 - 4 Army but still 18 Ticks on the clock. Plenty of time for Navy.

Army took the kick off and went nowhere, three and out, a punt and it was Navy's ball at their own 20 with 11 Ticks to go. First play the Navy receiver beat double coverage and caught a pass for 25 yards being hauled down at the Army 35. Two more plays and another first down. Navy's ball at the Army 15 yard line with 7 Ticks left!

"O'Neal drops back to pass and fires one to Bengston who slips a tackle and is grabbed by Chartikoff with a TD saving tackle."

Navy tries a run outside to cross up Army and gets down to the 5. Another run but to the left this time results in a loss of 5. 

4 Ticks, 4th Down and Navy needs to pick up 10 yards (2 spaces) for a game tying touchdown.

"O'Neal drops back and avoids the first rusher but is hit as he throws the pass (giving the defender 1 +1d6 bonus). Incomplete!

2 Ticks left and as Navy calls it's last time out Army runs out the clock. Final score Army 7 - Navy 4. Army retains the bragging rights for another year folks!

This was an excellent play test in that numerous situations came up that caused me to tweak the rules to better reflect real life strategy. The Non-Player offense and defense calling works very well and made for another entertaining game. Up next is a player versus Non-Player game to see if I can "bust" the Non-Player mechanics. 

1 comment:

  1. Looks damn good, this has given me an idea for the new year. Thanks. Happy Christmas.